Facebook Launches New Platform – Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops for Your Business

Small businesses always wanted to find a way to sell online, especially on social networks. However, creating a single online store, with a host of shopping features, can be very expensive. Facebook has recognised this shortfall and with their official announcement of their new Facebook Shops platform will look to make it more accessible. What this does is it allows you to combine the power of Facebook Shops & Shopify or similar eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and BigCommerce into a single place. It just makes it easier for businesses to establish their own shop and make it easy for customers to access their products on Facebook.

The reason why Facebook created its Facebook shops & Instagram shop solution (where you add the shop button to your social presence) is that a lot of businesses lost their brick and mortar clients. As a result, they are unable to physically open, yet with Facebook Shops they can start taking orders online. Small businesses can expand to the online world and generate some additional revenue, and they get to do all of this at their own pace. It’s interesting and different, and it does bring in some rewarding results.

Facebook Shops mockup

How does Facebook Shops work?

Facebook Shops allows businesses to create an online store on either Facebook or Instagram, where they can sell products as they see fit. This new platform will do a very good job when it comes to fully customising their presence and features. In fact, you can add any product you want from your company’s catalogue and then customise the shop to have a branded look and feel.

This means any seller is able to push their business online and connect with customers as they see fit. It’s a very seamless process and one that will encourage brick and mortar business owners to push their company to the online world.

The Facebook Shops system is very easy to understand and it also works in a pretty simple manner and will work with most business models. The idea behind these shops is that you get to make it easy for your business to have its own online store. You will need to create a Facebook Shop at first, you can do that from your company’s Facebook or Instagram page. This will add a shopping button and customers can go there to buy the items that you want to sell them.

  • After you initiate the shop creation process, you will be required to select the products you want to feature from your catalogue. You can add all products, or you can have just a few of them, it’s all up to you and what you believe is interesting and fair to add here.
  • Right after you select your products, you can easily customise the look and feel of your shop. That means you can integrate accent colours, share a cover image and so on. You can fully make this Facebook Shop your own since everything is customisable.
  • You can then create content that encourages people to shop in your store, or you just create stories or ads that will bring them to your store.

Another interesting thing about Facebook Shops is the fact that you can enable checkout within the Facebook app so people can buy from you without leaving the application. There’s also the option to take customers to your website to complete the purchase. That’s up to you, Facebook does allow you to choose what approach works based on the situation.

Is Facebook Shops free?

Generally speaking, the main advantage of Facebook Shops is that this will be a service that is free to use. You will have no problem setting this up and starting to use it despite even having no budget allocated for this type of initiative. That’s the main idea, to offer business owners a way to go online without having to spend a lot of money. It really helps them offer customers a great experience without having to worry about massive investments.

That alone shows the true value of Facebook Shops, which leads to helping business owners that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding in such a solution certainly helps Facebook business users to reach a large client base and regain some of the lost revenue from the past few months.

Now when they mentioned that Facebook Shops would be free, like other platforms out there, they allow you to use their systems for free. In a recent statement on Tech Crunch from Dan Levy, Vice Principal of Facebook Ads, indicated that while the platform will be free to use, there will be a small fee for each transaction made through the platform. We envisage that the main source of monetisation will be through advertising to those shops.

Like websites, you’ll still need to market your new online shop and that does come at a cost through such avenues like their Facebook Advertising platform. Unlike the more expensive alternatives out there, you can start advertising for as little as $5 a day, which makes it far more achievable for almost any business.

Why do I need to create Facebook Shops?

There are many reasons why you would use this feature. The main one is convenience. A lot of people use Facebook and they love the idea of being able to purchase items while they are using the platform, without the need to be taken offsite to continue. Facebook will also look to other functions on their platform, such as during a live stream, showcased by another influencer and so on.

Facebook Shops makes it easy for business owners to have an online presence without investing in some very expensive infrastructure. Owners will also be able to use 3rd party platforms to manage their Facebook Shops. As an example, Shopify said, “Facebook Shops will become available globally for all businesses across Facebook and Instagram shopping over the next several months. Shopify sellers can get ready for the launch by setting up their Facebook channel on Shopify and syncing your products to a Facebook product catalogue.”

You still get plenty of benefits and it is well worth the effort to create a shop like this without investing a whole lot. By having your own storefront, benefits include:

  • Helping more people find the products they want on the platform
  • Ability to design your shop and start building your brand
  • Manage your entire store from one single location
  • Expand your reach across the world

They will also allow you to connect loyalty programs to the Facebook account, yet another way for people to benefit from this type of store.

Can people purchase directly on Facebook Shops?

Yes, there are 2 purchase options here. Basically you will have the option to send customers to your website and complete the purchase there or you can keep them inside the app and use the Facebook checkout system. Both of them are very straightforward, but the main benefit is that people can stay within the app and use the integrated payment system. It works seamlessly and without error, making it easy for customers to spend their money the way they want.

Facebook Shops helps companies bring in a lot of leads and customers to their products, and they do that without having to spend a lot of time and effort. It’s a nice approach and a great change of pace. Plus, it allows companies to connect with new users and regain their strength after the COVID-19 pandemic. It really helps a lot when it comes to getting the economy back on track, and the results you are getting are indeed some of the best.

Even creating a store doesn’t take a lot of time, it’s very seamless and professional. Facebook Shops has the potential to revolutionise the way companies do business online, and it lowers the entry point into the eCommerce world!

Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops – Q & A

Are there rules on what can be sold on Facebook Shops?

That is going to continue to apply to the existing rules based on what we can get from Facebook. For example, you are not going to be able to sell items such as:

  • Illegal, prescription or recreational drugs
  • Tobacco products
  • Unsafe supplements
  • Ammunition, explosives and weapons
  • Animals
  • Adult products or services
  • Alcohol
  • Real money gambling services

Can you pay directly through Facebook Shops?

This is one of the key features of this new platform. In the past, you had to direct the customer to an external site where the sale would take place, including payment options. Then Facebook added a feature to be able to purchase through their Facebook Messenger service.

As of the initial roll-out, US businesses will have a checkout feature enabled on their Facebook Shop. It will not be something that is automatically added to it, you will need to make an application to get approval for it. Once you do, they will be able to pay directly on Facebook.

Will Facebook Shops integrate with Google Analytics?

This is something that we imagine will become available but as yet, no information is readily available. If you are integrating it from a 3rd-party platform, such as Shopify, the information will still be able to be synced which also means, you won’t need to add any additional products.

Facebook will most likely have their own form of analytics, which should be able to provide the information most people require. This would include information such as age, demographics, how much they’re spending and all be available on a single platform.

Will this support digital products like courses, templates, direct downloads etc.?

At this point in time, it does not appear that they will. This initial roll-out will be for the support of physical products that can be shipped. As the demand increases, it could be something that they consider. The workaround to this would be to send them to an external link with all the details to make the transaction.

We will look to add more questions as the platform grows.

In Summary

At the beginning of this year, Facebook highlighted as one of its priorities over the next decade, that they’re hoping to build more commerce and payments tools so that every business has access to the same technology previously only available to big companies. This week, Facebook made an announcement that would make that wish a reality by rolling out several new shopping experiences on its platforms.

The goal was to help small businesses and to make it easier for people to discover and shop for the things they love all within the Facebook suite of apps, including Facebook and Instagram. It was created and given the name, Facebook Shops.

As the COVID-19 pandemic affected the way we do business, Facebook remained committed to small businesses, providing avenues for them to continue their practices. As more features come to light and with industry experts always looking for ways to maximise opportunities, this new push into the e-Commerce space will go a long way to helping.

Want to jump in and get your business up & running? Feel free to reach out and book a call to discuss the best options for your business or organisation.

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